If you ever wondered what the hell happened to real from the heart, blazing fast, solid running, tight as nails, old school to the bone, genuine 1980s born and bred, backyard pool inspired skateboard punk, let not your heart be troubled: It lives! JFA are back with their first studio album in way too long and you don’t even have to be a hardcore skateboarder or old-school punk aficionado to pick up the heavy sound they’re putting down. But it damn sure wouldn’t hurt.
The songs on ‘The Last Ride,’ out May 2023, range from the lying liars and their deluded followers actively attempting to dismantle everything that ever made America great, to barreling surf music, dewatered swimming pools, good punkers gone but not forgotten, and the searing truth that asphalt has taken a piece out of everyone who’s ever ridden a skateboard down a hill.
But fret not, the album’s title does not indicate the imminent demise of the OG Skate Rock band that launched a thousand stage dives. As founding guitarist, Don Redondo puts it, “‘The Last Ride’ refers to ‘one more’ at the end of a skate or a surf session. You either bring it (get a killer ride) or sometimes go for it to the point of slamming hard. Nobody does a safety run after saying ‘one more’ — while many skaters won’t even say ‘one more’ out loud (the mojo is that strong).”
Or, as Brian Brannon, original JFA singer, practitioner of blatant vocalism, two-time gracer of the cover of Thrasher Magazine, and the dude filmed rolling down a slide multiple times into a bone-dry cement desert pond in the 1989 Santa Cruz Skateboards ‘Speed Freaks’ video says – “Everyone should just live.”
Driving, thumping, toneful bass on ‘The Last Ride’ is once again provided by Corey Stretz (The Blades, The Crowd, China White, The Outsiders), throwing down a melodic rhythmic pummeling of the deep end. Meanstreak-while, hard pipe-hitting, multitimbral, Animal from the Muppets, punk rock style drums is provided by Jamie Reidling, who was once a teen drumming delinquent hailing from the parking lot of the infamous Cookoo’s Nest. His musical rap sheet rattles off the likes of The Cadillac Tramps, Shattered Faith, Big Drill Car, U.S. Bombs, Die Hunns, TSOL, and Devils Brigade [with Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman of Rancid].
Get ‘The Last Ride’ while it lasts!